The hidden cost of energy

Many people have been linking to the new study claiming that America’s current energy sources cost $120 bn per year excluding the effects of climate change (largely health costs from other forms of pollution). Environmental Capital’s Keith Johnson puts it in a way that caught my attention:
Looked at another way, coal’s hidden pricetag adds up to 3.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Compare that to the 2 cents-per-kilowatt hour that wind power gets from the government — that’s less a subsidy than a partial attempt to level the playing field.
Wow – I would not have guessed that the costs reach the scale of cents per every KWh produced, which is quite hefty. If these numbers are robust – and no doubt there will be ample debate over that – then that is yet another argument that the benefits of climate change legislation far outweigh the costs.

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